Fez is the capital of Islam in Morocco. Located in a region previously called Hispania Nova. It has a population close to two million inhabitants. The city was founded by Idrís, in 789 on one of the shores of the Fez River. Later, it received the emigrant Arab population from Andalusia, who settled in two areas or neighborhoods of the city, which definitely gave him his Arab essence: Adwat al-Qarawiyyin and Adwat al-Andalus. It is one of the four imperial cities, along with Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat. In Morocco it is considered as the religious and cultural center of the country.
In the city we can find three different zones. As in Marrakech, the old area is within the walls. Apart from the old city there is Fez el Jdid or the new zone, where we can find the Mellah or Jewish quarter and the Ville Nouvelle, founded by the French.
We have two Medinas, being the medina of Fez el-Bali the largest in the city. The Medina of Fez is its main attraction, and it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1981. In it, we can find its two most important streets; Alaa Sghira and Talaa Kebira, which cross the Medina from east to west.
We will start the tour in Bab Boujloud or the blue door, which is the main access door and the most beautiful one and we will enter the labyrinth of shops, souks and restaurants to discover all the magic of this Medina. We will find the typical fondouks or merchants’ patios, in which the sale was allowed and in which the merchants who visited the city were given lodging. We will discover Plaza Najjarine, which has one of the most ornated fountains in the city.
In Fez, we have the possibility to visit, in addition to the Medina and its neighborhoods, the Bou Inania Madrasa which, dating back to the 14th century, was founded by the Merinides dynasty and which functioned both as a school and as a mosque, since it is the only one of the city in having minaret. There is also the Al-Attarine Madrasa, the Bab Boujoloud monument or the Dar Batha craft museum.
We will also find the Zaouia de Moulay Idriss II, whose green roof can be distinguished from the viewpoints of Fez. The problem with these monuments is that access to non-Muslims is not allowed.
Undoubtedly, contemplating the city from these viewpoints at sunset is a spectacle not to be missed.